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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 23, 2012

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Peshevski, Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Lazovic, Namibian Deputy Prime Minister Hausiku, Zimbabwean Vice President Mujuru and Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu of the State Council will pay official visits to the above five countries from March 28 to April 10.

Q: It is reported that soldiers who organized the coup in Mali established the "National Committee for the Establishment of Democracy" and declared the downfall of the incumbent administration, the suspension of the existing constitution and the dissolution of state institutions. What is China's comment on the current situation in Mali?

A: China follows closely the developments of the situation in Mali. We are opposed to the unconstitutional takeover of power and call on relevant parties in Mali to restore normal order as soon as possible and safeguard national unity and stability for the sake of the fundamental interests of the country and the people.

Q: Please brief us on the safety situation of Chinese enterprises and nationals in Mali as well as measures taken by China since the outbreak of the military coup there.

A: China is highly concerned about the safety of Chinese institutions and nationals in Mali. The Foreign Ministry has issued a safety alert. The Chinese Embassy in Mali has come into contact with Chinese institutions and nationals there through various means and reminded them of enhancing safety precautions. There has been no report of Chinese casualties up till now. China requires Mali to take effective measures to ensure the safety and lawful rights and interests of Chinese institutions and nationals there.

Q: First, what topics did the two sides touch upon during Indonesian President Susilo's visit to China? What cooperation agreements were inked? What significance does this visit have for the improvement of China-Indonesia relations? Second, Premier Wen Jiabao welcomes on many occasions foreign enterprises' investment in China and pledges to create an open and level playing field for them. However, there are still many foreign enterprises complaining about the difficulty of obtaining business license in China. What is your response?

A: On your first question, President Hu Jintao held talks with visiting Indonesian President Susilo this morning, exchanging in-depth views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest. The two heads of state reached broad consensus, including elevating China-Indonesia strategic partnership to a higher level by enhancing strategic consultation and expanding practical cooperation.

President Hu Jintao said that since the two countries established strategic partnership in 2005, bilateral relations have scored sound and rapid growth with remarkable results of exchanges and cooperation in all fields. China appreciates Indonesia's adherence to the one China policy and supports firmly Indonesia's efforts for national unity and territorial integrity. China would like to work together with the Indonesian side to deepen bilateral strategic partnership in the light of each other's development strategy and plans in the following areas. First, to enhance strategic communication and improve good-neighborly mutual trust; Second, to expand economic cooperation for common development; Third, to deepen defence and security cooperation and step up cooperation level; Fourth, to broaden maritime and space cooperation and enrich the contents of cooperation; Fifth, to promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges so as to cement the foundation of friendship; Sixth, to strengthen international and regional cooperation so as to safeguard common interests.

President Susilo expressed the Indonesian side's total agreement with President Hu Jintao's six-point proposal which would further boost bilateral relations in an all-around fashion. Indonesia regards China as an important cooperative partner and believes that building on the well-established foundation, the strategic partnership will forge constantly ahead with the concerted efforts of both sides.

The two heads of state attended the signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation documents in sea, antidrug, trade, tourism and other fields.

On your second question, China sticks to the win-win strategy of opening up. Over the past 30-odd years since the reform and opening up, China has attracted large amounts of foreign investment and created favorable conditions for the development of foreign enterprises in China, many of which have earned considerable profit in the Chinese market. China will continue to improve its laws and regulations on foreign trade cooperation, enhance intellectual property rights protection, treat everyone as an equal in government procurement and the identification of indigenous innovation products and create sound business conditions for foreign enterprises as it always does.

Q: In order to rein in the DPRK's plan of launching a satellite, Japan and the ROK held a consultation at director-general level in Seoul and called on China to exert pressure on the DPRK. How does China respond?

A: China has made its position clear on the DPRK's plan of launching a satellite. We have recently contacted with the DPRK, Russia, the US, the ROK and Japan. China stresses that all relevant parties share common interests and shoulder common responsibilities in maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. We hope that they will keep calm and exercise restraint under the current circumstances and avoid any act that may escalate or complicate the situation.

Q: The UN Human Rights Council adopted a Sri Lanka-related human rights resolution yesterday. What is China's comment?

A: I briefed about China's position on this resolution yesterday. China voted against relevant resolution.

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